- System: PlayStation 4, PC (Steam)
- Publisher: PQube
- Developer: Sonnori
- Release Date: August 29, 2017 (US PS4), August 22, 2017 (US PC), August 25, 2017 (UK)
- Rating: T for Teens
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror, Survival Horror, Indie
- Players: 1
- Official Website: http://pqube.co.uk/whiteday/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
In this remake, Sonnori has brought back a difficult survival horror game with some focus on stealth, resource micromanagement, tricky puzzles, and some terrifying scare tactics sure to make you scream! This may be a remake, but don’t think that Sonnori has made White Day: A Labyrinth Named School an easy game. Prepare for the worst with this terrifying cult classic and don’t forget to grab a friend to cower with.
White Day Teaser Trailer
Storywise, White Day: A Labyrinth Named School is a little lacking at first. In fact, aside from a short cutscene that the game starts with, there’s very little mention of a story at the beginning. Sure the synopsis gives you an idea of what is going on, but very little of that is actually indicated in the gameplay itself. Actually, once you’re locked in the school, aside from the extremely terrifying background noise, there’s nothing that indicates that there’s something supernatural going on at Yeondu High School. That is until the story starts to divulge starting with little notes that you find variously in the school.
These notes will start to give you information about what has gone on in the school. Very similarly to Skyrim where you find parts of the Elder Scrolls plot in books randomly throughout the realm, these notes will tell you about the history of Yeondu High School. Teachers have committed suicide. Students have died. There’s a gruesome past behind Yeondu High School and as Hee-Min, you’re about to learn all of it. Luckily, White Day: A Labyrinth Named School has 9 different endings that you’ll find that you just have to partake in the game more than once.
White Day: A Labyrinth Named School plays in first person, so if you are not used to this or do not prefer this type of gameplay, you are out of luck. The first-person perspective really adds an element of personalism that makes taking yourself out of the horror setting difficult. That and with the amazing soundtrack and sound effects of White Day: A Labyrinth Named School, you are pretty much guaranteed to be in for quite the scare. The soundtrack does a great job at manipulating your reaction to the situation and heightening your sense of awareness to what may possibly lie ahead. The eerie sound effects also really get to you and manipulate your reaction to everything that you don’t even need a bunch of jump scares to make you fearful of the game. Whoever did the music and sound for White Day: A Labyrinth Named School did a magnificently terrifying job.
Graphicwise, White Day: A Labyrinth Named School is a huge upgrade from its past titles. You can see it very clearly in the character designs and details in the game. We were quite impressed by how the characters looked as they actually had some Korean features. Based on pictures from past games, we could tell that this is not just some half-assed port but a complete remaking of the game to suit newer PCs and PlayStation 4 consoles that would otherwise make old games look terrible.
Also, evidently at that same part, you have unlocked some sort of supernatural force and supernatural entities start coming for you. It’s not explained very well but you’ll soon find yourself being collided into by a ghostly figure who deals damage. As you progress, you will unlock new ghosts who will come after you and once you get to your first real complicated puzzle, that’s when a real story comes out.
Speaking of damage, you will be dealt damage by either ghosts or the janitors. There’s no health bar so you’ll have to gauge how close you are to death by the amount of blood splatters on the screen. You can heal yourself by consuming instant ramen, coffee, or soybean milk, but coins for the vending machines are limited so you’ll have to consume them sparingly. Just keep an eye out for coins around the school so that you can actually get more food from the vending machines!
The unfortunate part about this ghost and damage business is that nothing is explained to you in the game. You kind of just get hit by the head ghost who really startles you at first and then you see blood all over the screen. You’ll have to learn how things work on your own in White Day: A Labyrinth Named School or else you are going to die fast. While playing, we eventually realized that the music became even more ominous as dangers came closer so we prepared ourselves to hide and wait out the dangers, although it felt like ages before the dangers passed.
White Day: A Labyrinth Named School boasts having a complex puzzle system that changes each time you have to do a puzzle. This could mean each time you play through the game or each time you get a game over and have to restart again. This means that regardless of how many times you perform a specific action for a puzzle, you’ll have to do them again to find out the new code for the lock or password for the puzzle. This makes the game all the more exciting, although since you cannot save the game in the middle of a crucial puzzle (like when a girl gets captured by a ghost), you are pretty much forced to repeat the same actions again and again until you get it right. This can become very tedious if you get multiple game overs and have to run all around to solve everything from the past save point.
While we’re on the subject of puzzles, White Day: A Labyrinth Named School requires you to really change your way of thinking. Rather than having solutions handed to you in the game, you are given clues on a piece of paper and have to rework the clue to actually be useable. This goes back to that steep learning curve we talked about earlier. You may be handed a piece of paper which seems to have the combination to a safe or you know that a passcode was supposed to be located somewhere but received an item, but you’re going to have to adapt quickly and figure out how that random item can actually more or less be the passcode that you need. And unlikely for you, if you ran all around the school to find that code and received a game over for whatever reason, you’re going to have to start all over from the last save point to get the passcode all over again!
Now, since White Day: A Labyrinth Named School is a horror game, we should talk about the scary aspects of the game. The game is supposedly one of the scariest games ever created and it shows with the soundtrack, sound effects, and horror elements. Something that we love about Eastern horror is its ability to really grip you from a psychological element rather than focusing more on gore, although White Day: A Labyrinth Named School has plenty of that. All of the sounds and story play into that as you, like Hee-Min Lee, play the game rather blindly and have to face ghosts without really knowing anything about them.
While we may not appreciate the lack of tutorials or explanations involved with ghosts, that definitely did play into scaring us better since we had to just adapt to what was going on, like a person in Hee-Min’s shoes would do. With that said, the game seems to rely a lot on jump scares, which can be irritating or repetitive at some points. We got sick of seeing the same ghosts crawl out of the locker when it happened so frequently or being found by the head ghost since it seemed that no matter how long we waited out the terrifying music, we were always found. It felt tedious in the long run, but initially, it did add a great terror component.
Luckily unlocking new ghosts keeps White Day: A Labyrinth Named School full of surprises, especially if you play again at a higher difficulty level!
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Great sound effects that really create the most suspenseful feel
- Graphics have been revamped since the original release of the game
- Resources are limited, which adds to the difficult of White Day: A Labyrinth Named School
- 5 difficulty levels
- 9 Different Endings
- Interesting background for each ghost
- Ever changing puzzles, which means you cannot rely on a walkthrough
- Lack of explanation makes surviving the game dependent on how quick you are at adapting
- High replay value
- The game mechanics really allow you to play as if you are in a real life survival horror game
- Health does not regenerate in this remake
- Same lockers open in each room which feels repetitive and lazy
- You cannot interact with anything in the dark so you have to turn on a light or use your lighter
- Locker ghosts show up too so often that it takes away the suspense
- Cannot save during puzzles